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The Donner Party

as part of Westward Expansion from Eureka!

a constantly changing URL database with content relevant to elementary school curricula

1846 - The Donner Party


  1. Research the Donner Party taking notes while using a URL site, an encyclopedia and a picture book.
  2. As a character in the Donner Party, use the notes to create an illustrated journal containing 6 - 7 entries which reveal important incidents and discoveries. Do not dwell on cannibalism!
  3. Organize a focused narrative which:
    • includes background information about how and why the Donner Party were traveling
    • contains information of what happened along the trail to the Donner Party
    • uses supporting details to explain how the Donner Party situation affected the growth history of the United States!
  4. Create an artifact packet (use a gallon plastic bag) which includes primary source documents, miniature props, and a descriptive index of the contents related to the Donner Party.

Online resources:
  1. 1846 - Donner Party crosses the Oregon Trail and John Sutter sends for help (Additional Donner Party site)
  2. Student challenge to create a journal interpretation of experiencing the life of a Donner Party member based on suggested supportive readings.
  1. Lavender, David. Snowbound

As of December 4, 2003, you are visitor to look into the Donner Party.

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